Will Never Recover

by Siri
(Durban, South Africa)

I am 13 years old. My brother who is 8 years my senior used to sexually abuse me. I do not know exactly when it began or when it stopped but I do remember finer details like what he did and how it made me feel.

He used to make me watch pornographic material with him, give him oral sex, get oral sex from him as well as fingering me. He called it our little secret and forbade me from telling anyone. I complied with his requests as he was the only one to give me any attention which was something I craved for as a child.

I used to think it was all my fault and I used to spend sleepless nights crying and asking god to forgive me.

One day he attempted to rape me and I realized that what was happening was hurting me and that it was bad. I confronted him and told him it had to stop and looking back, I can say it was the best thing I ever did.

As a result I am suffering from depression, anxiety and on the verge of developing an eating disorder. I used to self-harm in various ways but stopped after my mum saw my scars. Luckily she didn't question them but I felt so guilty so I never did it again.

Everyone in school thinks I'm so perfect because I am top of the class, I have many talents and I'm also 'really pretty' (not my words)

I told my two best friends what was happening and they encouraged me to talk to our school counsellor. I was reluctant at first but after going for one session I realised that it was actually helping me. I know that I will never fully recover and I can accept that. I am just afraid that I won't be able to live a normal life.

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Comments for Will Never Recover

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Aug 26, 2015
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I am always astounded when I hear survivors of abuse tell me that they know they will never fully recover. That may be true for some, but it doesn't HAVE to be true. Unless you believe that it's true.

We have the ability to recover from anything. And perspective is everything.

Your brother did horrible things to you. And now there is still a part of you that believes you were complicit in that abuse. But Siri, you weren't complicit, you were coerced. And manipulated. And taken advantage of during a very vulnerable time in your life. Your older brother who knew better, took advantage of your youth, innocence and need for attention. That's not on you, Siri, that's on HIM. It takes a very sick and twisted individual to do what he did to a very young girl, to do what he did to YOU. But how courageous of you to confront and stop him when he tried to go further. There is no question that you are strong. And not just for standing up and telling him "no". You're strong for enduring.

Siri, recovery CAN happen for you, but not if you don't believe it will. This website is filled with people who have not recovered. I know that. I also know that those who DO find full recovery are the ones who look at what happened to them in a different way than the way they've been looking throughout their lives. And what exactly IS full recovery, anyway?

It's the ability to move forward in your life in a way that whatever did happened to you no longer adversely affects you. But that doesn't mean you'll forget. You'll probably never forget. But what matters is what you tell yourself when you do remember, and then how you respond. Those are the hallmarks of recovery.

As long as the counsellor is doing you some good, I hope you'll stay seeing that counsellor. And remember, half of healing and recovery is the belief that you actually can.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me, Siri. I send you love, light and continued healing.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.comauthor. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jan 28, 2016
Will Never Recover
by: Carol

Hi Siri, I too was sexually abused by my oldest brother as well as 2 more brothers between the ages of 8 and 10. Pornography was also part of grooming. And like you, I felt I would never recover because those images and feeling were so strong and clear. Even at 53 at times I can see it like it happened yesterday. Over the years I've wondered what is recovery? what does it really mean? Does it mean I'll feel normal, like I'll fit in? Is recovery all its cracked up to be? And what is normal? Over time I came to the conclusion that "normal" only applies to the setting on the clothes dryer. Recovery? Well, its really about learning how to cope in spite of everything that's happened to us. We will always remember, we might always feel some pain...but over time and with courage it becomes less painful, the images less defined. But what is more clear and more defined is our resilience, courage and strength to push through it. To not let it ruin us. I thought I'd never get over it, I thought it would always affect me. A friend told me something someone else had told her when she lost her husband - that someday the sun would shine again. And for me it does most days now. I don't mean to make light of what you're experiencing, because I know, I've been there and still deal sometimes. But I want to give you hope that it will get better. Sometimes we have to stop and sit in our muck and grieve and be angry for awhile, then we need to move towards what we really want in life that is healthy and good. We will do these cycles over and over until Good and Healthy win and mucking through becomes less and less. Its in your own time, not on anyone else's time. But along the way I hope you find things, even small things that make you smile inside and help you feel you belong here, that you're needed and are important....soft music, candles, bubbles, writing, a special window with a lace curtain....whatever it is that makes you feel better. Safe travels wherever you go.....

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